The history of human occupation of the British Isles has been a long and turbulent story that has seen waves of human activity flow in, and then disappear again as weather conditions forced populations to flee. This makes the discovery of some of the earliest known pottery ever to have been found in the British Isle all the more special.
Around 6000 years ago we see peoples begin to settle down in communities and farm the land for the first time in British history. With the settling of these Neolithic communities comes the introduction of beautifully handcrafted ceramic vessels for cooking and storing precious crops and food supplies.
One of the areas where these Neolithic people really left their mark was at Windmill Hill, where a wealth of very early pottery has been found. As one of the first places where this style of pottery was identified, this treasured pottery tradition was given the name Windmill Hill ware.
The site at Windmill Hill was a Causewayed Enclosure about one mile north west of Avebury in Wiltshire, it has gifted us a bounty of fascination archelogy that demonstrates the artistry of our ancestors, including some stunning pottery sherds. The generously proportioned pots of Windmill hill represent a regional style within the western Neolithic pottery tradition, with their predominantly round bases, they are objects made to be handled and appreciated.
This replicas is based on a sherd from the upper rim of a pot found at Windmill Hill, it has been carefully hand crafted using the typical tools of this period, which include pebbles and shaped antler tools.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. 135 mm tall 210 mm diameter
Completely hand built, from clays similar in character to those used by the original potters, this vessel has been fired in a wood fire to emulate the surface colouration of the original. It has been given a finish of bees wax, a material also identified in residue analysis of the originals. Where hand tools are used I create my own using stone, wood, shell, bone and antler based on original finds or information gained from marks on original artefacts.
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Neolithic makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using handmade bone and antler tools. It has been fired to emulate the same techniques that the original potters would have employed, this process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture, as is common with original Neolithic. As each pot varies you many not receive the exact bowl in the image, but you can be sure that due to the variations caused by the firing process your pot will be a one of a kind.
Health and Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that would have been used during the Neolithic era. As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface it will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process, which does add to the flavour of future dishes. However, it does also mean that this pot does not meet modern Health and Safety standards and therefore we do not advise that it is used for cooking with. When Neolithic cooks cooked in these pots they would rely on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that all bacteria was killed. Heating to over 70°C for at least 10 minutes would have killed most disease causing bacteria and temperatures of 100°C would do even more.
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